Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Egypt (Day One)

From October 7-21, we went on an amazing trip through Egypt. We traveled through Cairo, took a trip up the Nile, spent a few days on the Red Sea, and went on a day trip to Jordan to visit Petra. It was remarkable to travel through all of these historic areas that were built thousands of years ago. We took 2900 pictures!
Over the next several days, we are going to put several posts on the blog (with only a few of these pictures) to show some of the things we saw. Enjoy!
Day One - Giza, Saqqara, Dahshur, and Cairo
On our first day, we hired a driver that drove us to all of the pyramids around Cairo. He was with us for over 9 hours and drove us for about 100 miles. This personalized service only cost $36. We quickly found that prices in Egypt are much lower than at home.

The Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx are amazing! It is difficult to imagine the size of them until you are standing at their feet.

We took a camel ride. It was a crazy experience! We both thought we were going to fall off.

We went inside the Pyramid of Khafre. It was amazing to walk through this structure that was built over 3000 years ago! The passageways have very low ceilings. While walking through the pyramid, it was fascinating to see how each block fits together perfectly. We couldn't see any gaps and the blocks were perfectly smooth. It was very hot and humid inside the pyramid. It was probably over 100 degrees and close to 100% humidity.

Reini thought the Sphinx was pretty hot!

After the Pyramids of Giza, we went to Saqqara and Dahshur to see the Step, Bent, and Red pyramids. These are older than the Giza pyramids. We were able to go inside the Red pyramid. It was only the two of us and the guard inside the pyramid, which was a little creepy. The passage down to the tomb is about 70 feet long and only about 4 feet tall and on a very steep angle.

Near the Red Pyramid, we visited a carpet school. In these schools, children come at the age of 8 for a six year apprenticeship on how to make hand tied silk carpets. After the apprenticeship is over, they can either work for the carpet company or they are given a loom and can work from home. A large carpet like the one in the center photo would take one person over 2 years to complete. The cost for this carpet in Egypt is about $13,000. Needless to say, we left only with pictures.
Donkey carts are alive and well in Egypt. It is very common to see them going down the street. Jared snapped this picture on our way back to Cairo.

This was our first Egyptian meal. This item is called Koshary. It is a very common food in Egypt. It's not bad, but it's not very good either. We quickly discovered why you never see Egyptian restaurants in America. There is really no market for it. We made a good honest effort to try the local food, but eventually we just gave up and ate western food (which is very popular).

Spice stores are very common in all Egyptian cities. This is one we found in downtown Cairo. They always have big barrels or bags full of various spices.


Amy said...

WOW! I want to hear everything! How about any day next week or next weekend? Give me a call after work sometime. And I told Emily you guys went to Egypt and she was REALLY interested in the Sphynx. You'll have to go back to work and tell her about it :)

Ashley said...

Wow! Looks amazing! Tom and I both want to go to Egypt someday, now we know who to go to for advice! Can't wait to see more posts about it.

Kristin said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I now know someone who has ridden a camel. I can't wait for the next installment. WOW!!!!